Euphemia Haye's Chef Ray's Red Snapper Portuguese

One of my favorite fish dishes is the Red Snapper Portuguese from Chef Ray Arpke at Euphemia Haye.  I was lucky enough to participate in one of his cooking classes and thought I would share his recipe with you. Of course I have Chef Ray’s blessing and permission to do so.
Also I should mention that if you are ever looking for different and unique things to do in the area then by all means check out Chef Ray’s cooking classes at Euphemia Haye. Ray calls his classes “Lesson Luncheons” because they are taught in a demonstration style. Chef Ray says, “What this means is, I do all of the cooking and you do the eating and drinking.”  I like this quote. It really speaks to me.
The classes are fun, educational and you get a seriously fabulous lunch complete with the lovely wine pairings.  It is a nice way to spend time with a friend or just treat someone with a very different gift. You can read more about the “lesson luncheons” here at Longboat Key cooking classes.
RED SNAPPER PORTUGUESE    (Serves Six to Eight)

  • 6 to 8, 7oz. Filets Red Snapper
  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, Peeled, Halved, and Sliced
  • 2 Cups Peeled Eggplant, Cut in 1” Cubes
  • 3 Cups Bell Pepper Strips (3 colors preferred)
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Sliced
  • 2 Cups Tomatoes, Roughly Chopped
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Chopped Fennel Seed
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Basil Chiffonade
  • Salt & Pepper, To Taste
  • 1 Cup Pimento Olives, Sliced

TOPPING
Heat olive oil in a large skillet until it smokes.  Add sliced onions and sir until slightly caramelized.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add cubed eggplant and sliced garlic, and cook two minutes.  Add bay leaves, oregano, fennel seed and pepper strips.  Cook for two minutes longer and add chopped tomatoes.  Lower heat and simmer until the vegetables have softened and the tomatoes have lost most of their juice.  Add sliced olives and basil chiffonade.  Bring to a boil quickly, and pour in a glass container until ready to use.
* This topping can be prepared 2 to 3 days ahead and refrigerated.
TO COOK AND SERVE
Oil a baking pan with olive oil.  Season the fish with salt and pepper, and place in the oiled pan, leaving an inch or two between the fillets.  Top each fillet with equal portions of the topping.  Moisten the bottom of the baking dish with white wine and bake at 425°, 15 to 20 minutes, or until the center of the fish is flaky and has lost all of its transparency.
Serve individually or as a platter.  Saffron rice makes a lovely accompaniment.
Recipe Credit: Chef Raymond Arpke, Co-Owner and Executive Chef at Euphemia Haye Restaurant • 5540 Gulf of Mexico Drive •Longboat Key, FL 34228
(941) 383-3633 • www.EuphemiaHaye.com